Burnham Memorial / David Woodhouse

In addition to the temporary pavilions by Hadid and UNStudio (As we reported earlier) the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s Plan for Chicago will also include a permanent memorial. For the memorial, which will honor the legacy of Burnham and his plan, Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust and the AIA Chicago Foundation funded and organized, respectively, a small design competition consisting of 20 invited competitors. The jury unanimously selected Chicago-based architect David Woodhouse’s proposal noting, “it has elegance, simplicity and, in the end, it’s a modern solution. It almost looks evitable. It’s that appropriate to the site.”

More images and more about Woodhouse’s  memorial after the break.

Known for their public spaces, David Woodhouse Architects’ design is comprised of three components: the Corner, Overlook, and Lawn. The Corner includes two gray granite walls set at 90 degree angles that depict elements of Burnham’s plan. While the south and east faces will be rough and hold an offset image of the Chicago plan in stainless steel, the north and west faces will be smoothly polished to reflect city views. A statue of Burnham will also be placed adjacent to the Corner. The Overlook, also of gray granite, is a 230 foot long plinth that illustrates maps and models of the city’s evolution across its flat metal bas relief panels. The Lawn will be reconfigured as a gentle slope bisected by a path of permeable pavers. The three elements are proposed for the Museum Campus site directly north of the Field Museum, designed by Burnham. This site has caused controversy as some believe “constructing a memorial here is low priority.”

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to explore what Burnham has done. I learned a lot about him. He was much more modern than we often think,” explained Woodhouse.

Before construction, the design will need to be approved by the Chicago Park District board of commissioners and the Chicago Plan Commission. The memorial is estimated to cost approximately $5 million and tentatively scheduled for completion in 2011.  Models and boards from the 20 entries will be exhibited at The Field Museum from August 21 to January 3, 2010.

As seen on The Architect’s Newsletter. Images courtesy David Woodhouse.


About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "Burnham Memorial / David Woodhouse" 11 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/28666/burnham-memorial-david-woodhouse> ISSN 0719-8884

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